Community Needs WorksheetBSHS/428 Version 22

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Community Needs Worksheet

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Part 1: COMMUNITY NEEDS PRIMER ― Program Problems

Read the scenario below, which details a set of errors with a community problem identification, program planning, and needs assessment. Answer the questions below, using appropriate course-level APA format, if you use outside sources. Your response to each question should be approximately 100 words.

Jane Smith reads an article online from the Tiny Town Gazette about human trafficking. Trafficking is said to be “a serious problem” in a neighboring town of some 20,000 persons. Jane asks a few people she knows from her bridge club what they think about the situation and any solutions they may have. Based on the strength of her readings and of her friends’ remarks, she decides that this is a gripping social problem, and she will start a residential shelter for victims of human trafficking.

Jane chooses a site she can rehab for a program, withdraws her IRA funds to purchase the building, and employs workers and trades to bring the facility up to code. She selects her target population: international trafficking victims in the town – both male and female. After announcing her plans in the local papers, she finds she has great opposition from the community both in the editorial pages of the local papers, as well as physically protesting the site itself.

1. Jane Smith did not follow the proper process of identifying a problem for her program. What should she have done differently to successfully identify a valid problem within the community?

2. What problems and pitfalls did Jane Smith ignore when she was planning her program? What issues will poor planning cause later when Jane tries to implement her program?

3. What did you observe about potential challenges and risks with the methods Jane used in conducting her needs assessment? How will this impact her program and the program outcomes?

4. Think of a social problem you are interested in addressing in professional practice or field experience. How would problems similar to the ones in the scenario create unsuccessful outcomes for programs you hope to design in the future?

Part 2: Issues Plaguing Your Community

Every community has needs or issues that can plague its community members. These issues are most often related to disparity and lack of resources, and the basic needs of families, people, and animals not being met. The purpose of Parts 2 and 3 of this assignment is to learn more about your specific community and the met and/or unmet needs that you see. Use your text book, Internet research, and what you already know about your own community to complete the questionnaire. Start your questionnaire research by visiting your community’s local health and human services website, often referred to as the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Social Services, and/or Department of Economic Security. One of the most comprehensive websites to visit for general information is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, .

This assignment – and the research you do to complete it – will become the foundation of your career work in your chosen field of human services. All professional work begins with your understanding of the needs of your community. Please add any additional needs you identify.

Note: Your work and research on the social problem you chose to jointly investigate with your teams will aid you in your Week 2 assignment.

Research the following issues, and rank the seriousness of the issues in your community on a 1-4 scale:

(1) No Problem, (2) Minor Problem, (3) Moderate Problem, (4) Serious Problem

Community ProblemRankQuantitative Research, Comments and References
Child abuse
Juvenile crime
Drunk driving
Runaway youth
Adolescent suicide
Alcohol/drug abuse
Teen pregnancy
Shortage of childcare
Family/domestic violence
Racial, ethic, gender discrimination
Lack of after school care
Inadequate housing
Improper healthcare
Programs and care for seniors
High school dropout rates
Human Trafficking

Part 3: Methods to Determine Need

Needs assessments can be expressed and measured in a variety of ways. The methods shown below may sometimes provide different measurements of the same needs. Choose an area of need that interests you, and explain the advantages and disadvantages of describing the need in this particular manner. How would the description of the need indicate or support a reason to implement a program, have continuance for the program, or seek new funding for the program?

Use appropriate course-level APA format to acknowledge the source(s) you use to define the method of need.

Method to determine needDefinitionAdvantages/Disadvantages
Normative Need
Perceived Need
Expressed Need
Relative Need

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